Emergencies, Displacement, and Refugees

Emergency response is in our DNA. Whether it’s a pandemic, a natural disaster, or a refugee crisis, we’re ready to deliver assistance.

Concern’s values were forged in the fires and famine of Nigeria during the Biafran War over 50 years ago. We respond rapidly while ensuring our actions are guided by local priorities, and our work doesn’t end when the news cameras and first responders have moved on.

An unprecedented 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes, with causes ranging from natural disasters to conflict; famine to health crises. This includes more than 26 million refugees living in host communities abroad, half of whom are under 18.  

When an emergency strikes, we seek out the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach communities to meet their immediate needs, and work with them to design innovative, fast, and effective responses. We stay with them to help rebuild their lives and to ensure that they are more able to cope with future crises.

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How We Do It

Rapid Response

One of the main objectives of our emergency programming is to respond rapidly to emergencies in order to save lives and reduce suffering. While the details from one emergency to the next may change, the core principles remain the same:

1. Assess the needs of impacted community, while ensuring the safety of our local staff

2. Plan a response to meet the needs of those affected, coordinating with partners including the UN, international governments, and other NGOs

3. Deliver timely, coordinated assistance to crisis-affected communities impartially regardless of nationality, race, gender, religion, political opinion, or class

4. Track funds dedicated to the emergency response to ensure that they are meeting the needs those affected

5. Work alongside the community during the immediate aftermath of an emergency, staying until the community fully recovers and has built resilience against future crises

6. Train fellow humanitarians to strengthen future emergency response through our capacity building programs like Building a Better Response (BBR)

 

For example, by March 2017, drought and conflict had left nearly 23 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. We expanded our emergency response in these countries to directly assist 1.5 million people in the most vulnerable communities. Learn more about how this response contributed to Somalia avoiding a famine in 2017 below.

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Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster risk reduction is central to our work in building community resilience when emergencies hit. After the immediate priorities are addressed, we work with communities to systematically identify, analyze, and reduce the risks of future emergencies or disasters. Our teams work to reduce the impact of natural disasters, as well as the human and environmental factors that trigger them.

Risk is a fundamental element that can force people into poverty and keep the cycle hard to break. All of the communities that we work with are subject to differing degrees of disaster risk, so therefore all of our programs incorporate disaster risk reduction.

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Community Resilience

Part of our humanitarian work aims to help communities withstand emergencies and to help them become less vulnerable to future problems. This is particularly important as most regions we work in experience frequent natural disasters or ongoing political instability.

We position ourselves in some of the most vulnerable places in the world so that we are there before disaster strikes. We are able to detect when a situation is deteriorating and respond with tailored interventions. We help to equip families with the skills and tools to feed and support themselves sustainably without resorting to negative coping strategies, such as selling essential assets, migrating for work, or child labor.

Learn More
close

Rapid Response

One of the main objectives of our emergency programming is to respond rapidly to emergencies in order to save lives and reduce suffering. While the details from one emergency to the next may change, the core principles remain the same:

1. Assess the needs of impacted community, while ensuring the safety of our local staff

2. Plan a response to meet the needs of those affected, coordinating with partners including the UN, international governments, and other NGOs

3. Deliver timely, coordinated assistance to crisis-affected communities impartially regardless of nationality, race, gender, religion, political opinion, or class

4. Track funds dedicated to the emergency response to ensure that they are meeting the needs those affected

5. Work alongside the community during the immediate aftermath of an emergency, staying until the community fully recovers and has built resilience against future crises

6. Train fellow humanitarians to strengthen future emergency response through our capacity building programs like Building a Better Response (BBR)

 

For example, by March 2017, drought and conflict had left nearly 23 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. We expanded our emergency response in these countries to directly assist 1.5 million people in the most vulnerable communities. Learn more about how this response contributed to Somalia avoiding a famine in 2017 below.

Learn More
close

Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster risk reduction is central to our work in building community resilience when emergencies hit. After the immediate priorities are addressed, we work with communities to systematically identify, analyze, and reduce the risks of future emergencies or disasters. Our teams work to reduce the impact of natural disasters, as well as the human and environmental factors that trigger them.

Risk is a fundamental element that can force people into poverty and keep the cycle hard to break. All of the communities that we work with are subject to differing degrees of disaster risk, so therefore all of our programs incorporate disaster risk reduction.

Learn More
close

Community Resilience

Part of our humanitarian work aims to help communities withstand emergencies and to help them become less vulnerable to future problems. This is particularly important as most regions we work in experience frequent natural disasters or ongoing political instability.

We position ourselves in some of the most vulnerable places in the world so that we are there before disaster strikes. We are able to detect when a situation is deteriorating and respond with tailored interventions. We help to equip families with the skills and tools to feed and support themselves sustainably without resorting to negative coping strategies, such as selling essential assets, migrating for work, or child labor.

Learn More

Our Impact

And that’s just in one year.

For every dollar donated to Concern, $0.93 goes directly into our life-saving programs in 23 of the world’s most vulnerable countries. Your tax-deductible gift makes you part of a vital community that enables us to reach over 11 million people each year with lifesaving emergency response.

Current Emergency Responses

Syrian Conflict

Since early 2011, the Syrian conflict has resulted in enormous suffering for millions of people, uprooting an estimated 11.5 million Syrians (nearly half of the estimated pre-war population). Of the displaced Syrians, 5.5 million are living as refugees in neighboring countries — namely Turkey (3.6 million), Lebanon (nearly 1.5 million), and Jordan (1.3 million).

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Rohingya Crisis

Since outbreaks of violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya have fled the country, crossing the border to Bangladesh. Many of them have settled in informal camps in the Cox’s Bazar area, in Bangladesh’s southeast. The number of refugees in the area has swelled to nearly 900,000. The UN estimates that more than 60% of them are children. Many Rohingya arrived in the camps injured, wounded from the fighting and violence. Few brought more than the clothes on their backs. In the intervening time they have had to cope with disease, malnutrition, flooding, and COVID-19.

On March 22nd, 2021, a huge fire ripped through one of the many camps in the area, leaving at least 15 people dead and 400 missing. As many as 10,000 families lost their shelter and possessions. A massive effort is under way to ensure that they are supported with food, water, hygiene facilities and temporary shelter. Concern is at the heart of that response.

Learn More & Support

COVID-19

COVID-19 threatens to reverse decades of hard-won development and progress to ending poverty and hunger. For Concern Worldwide, this is unacceptable. We’re in the communities that will be hardest-hit by this pandemic, and over 5 decades of experience have given us the knowledge and resources required to fight it.

Learn More & Support
close

Syrian Conflict

Since early 2011, the Syrian conflict has resulted in enormous suffering for millions of people, uprooting an estimated 11.5 million Syrians (nearly half of the estimated pre-war population). Of the displaced Syrians, 5.5 million are living as refugees in neighboring countries — namely Turkey (3.6 million), Lebanon (nearly 1.5 million), and Jordan (1.3 million).

Learn More & Support
close

Rohingya Crisis

Since outbreaks of violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya have fled the country, crossing the border to Bangladesh. Many of them have settled in informal camps in the Cox’s Bazar area, in Bangladesh’s southeast. The number of refugees in the area has swelled to nearly 900,000. The UN estimates that more than 60% of them are children. Many Rohingya arrived in the camps injured, wounded from the fighting and violence. Few brought more than the clothes on their backs. In the intervening time they have had to cope with disease, malnutrition, flooding, and COVID-19.

On March 22nd, 2021, a huge fire ripped through one of the many camps in the area, leaving at least 15 people dead and 400 missing. As many as 10,000 families lost their shelter and possessions. A massive effort is under way to ensure that they are supported with food, water, hygiene facilities and temporary shelter. Concern is at the heart of that response.

Learn More & Support
close

COVID-19

COVID-19 threatens to reverse decades of hard-won development and progress to ending poverty and hunger. For Concern Worldwide, this is unacceptable. We’re in the communities that will be hardest-hit by this pandemic, and over 5 decades of experience have given us the knowledge and resources required to fight it.

Learn More & Support

Our Humanitarian Mandate

All of Concern’s work is guided by a series of codes and policies to which our teams strictly adhere. Many of these revolve around humanitarian aid and emergency response. Concern’s codes and policies include the following standards: 

The Core Humanitarian Standard

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is an internationally-recognized standard of nine commitments. Concern Worldwide adheres to  the CHS to improve the quality and effectiveness of our work.

The UN Principles of Humanitarian Aid

Originally set out by the United Nations General Assembly, the four principles of humanitarian aid are Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, and Independence. 

The Disaster Relief Code of Conduct

Prepared by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent and the ICRC, the Disaster Relief Code of Conduct ensures that we maintain a high standard of behavior, effectiveness, and impact when responding to a disaster.